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How to Claim Knowledge Panels in Google For More Organic Visibility

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If something is written about your brand online, you want to know about it, right?

That’s even more true if it’s an authoritative source speaking about your brand and giving information to the public about what you sell, where you’re located, your hours, your website, and more.

When Google shares information about your brand in what is called Google Knowledge Panels, you don’t want to just know about it—you want to claim it.

Why do you want to claim knowledge panels? You get to control the narrative. When you tell Google you’re the owner of that brand, you can make sure the information is accurate and up to date.

This is a critical step when you’re using SEO to build your brand.

To claim knowledge panels for your brand is relatively simple and something you want to get on top of to keep customers coming through your doors or to your website with consistency, arming them with the right information.

What Are Google Knowledge Panels?

You don’t have to use too much imagination. Remember the last time you googled anything? The information you were looking for just popped up, towards the top of the screen, with relevant data all in one place.

Enter Google Knowledge Panels. You don’t have to know what they’re called to know what they are. They are the boxes of information you see near the top of a Google search for anything from a person to a brand.

Knowledge panels can include:

  • a brand or entity name
  • descriptions
  • details about the person or brand
  • history
  • contact information
  • featured images

According to Google, it uses different factors to decide what goes in that panel. As you start to look around, you’ll start to notice some information seems gathered from other sources, such as Wikipedia or other online websites.

In addition, Google uses its data involving keyword searches and questions people tend to ask regarding that particular entity or item, and it pulls those questions and answers in.

It’s all based on Google’s Knowledge Graph. Google uses all that data to build the knowledge panels you see when you search for something. These aren’t necessarily generated by the person who has claimed their Google knowledge panel.

Now, let’s look at a couple of examples.

claim knowledge panel watermelon example

This one is about watermelons. It’s not specifically owned by anyone in particular and therefore not claimable.

claim knowledge panel - queen Elizabeth

Here is an example of a knowledge panel associated with a person. She could go in and claim it using the button on the bottom left.

We’ll discuss more about how this works.

Why Should You Claim Knowledge Panels in Google?

Is it worth taking the time to claim knowledge panels in Google? If you’re the owner of a brand with a knowledge panel, you can verify your relationship to that entity and at least influence some of the information provided in the panel.

There are several reasons why you should consider taking the time to claim knowledge panels:

  • increase control over what’s being highlighted about your brand
  • ensure accurate and up-to-date information
  • keep social media profile links up to date
  • choose which featured images are used
  • have a more engaged relationship with what Google is showing about your brand

While you don’t have direct access to the panel to make changes, by claiming your knowledge panel, you have Google’s ear, so to speak. You can send in a suggestion or request an update with your Google account associated with that knowledge panel so when Google receives your request, it knows it’s coming from an authoritative source.

Steps to Claim Knowledge Panels in Google

ow you’re ready to claim knowledge panels that relate to you, your brand, or entities that you represent in Google. Here are some steps to get you started:

1. Sign in to Your Google Account

You need to have a Google account to be able to claim knowledge panels. If you have a Gmail address or other Google product where you’ve set up an account, then you are good to go. If not, go ahead and set one up. To continue, you’ll need to be logged in.

Now log in to your preferred Google account. If you use a specific account for your brand or your related business needs, sign in to that one.

2. Search for the Knowledge Panel Topic

Once you’re logged in, use Google to search for yourself, your brand, your entity, or your organization. It may seem self-explanatory, but you need to actually type in the entity for which knowledge panel you’re looking for.

The goal here is to pull up the knowledge panel like any other searcher on the internet would see it. There is no back-end way to see the knowledge panel, like the development or content end of your website.

The nice thing about this is you’ll be able to see what users see. Maybe since you’re sitting down to work on this anyway, you may think of related topics you want to check out. You can do that from here by performing a search for that knowledge panel.

Now that you’ve searched for it, you should see the brand or other name at the top of the knowledge panel. If not, search again. Many brands or organizations have similar or even identical names, so make sure you see yours before continuing. You don’t want to accidentally claim someone else’s—or get stuck not being able to claim your own.

3. Click the Claim Knowledge Panels Link

Look for the link on the bottom that says, “Claim This Knowledge Panel.”

The button is located at the bottom of the box surrounding the knowledge panel. The size may vary, but all are surrounded by a thin line.

Go ahead and click the link. If you don’t see it, the knowledge panel may already be claimed by another entity. Make sure you’re looking at the right panel.

Here you will be able to review the available features. As we mentioned above, knowledge panels are not created by those who claim or verify them. Google uses various algorithms and machine knowledge to pull what it deems to be relevant information into these panels.

4. Look for Profiles You Can Use to Claim Knowledge Panels

Google uses a number of different connections on other web platforms that you can sign into to prove your identity or relation to the knowledge panel you want to claim. You can choose from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Once you sign in to one of these, you’ve claimed your knowledge panel and can make updates or changes as available.

5. Give Others Access 

Once you’ve gone through all the work to claim your knowledge panel, you may want to make sure other people on your team have access to your brand’s knowledge panels as well.

To do this, you need to be logged in to the same Google account you used to claim the panel. Go to Google’s Manage User page.

Click to add people and then add the email addresses of those you want to give access to your knowledge panels. Choose which levels of permission you want to give them. Every level has the option to go in and suggest changes to your knowledge panel, which we will discuss in more detail below. However, an owner or manager can add or delete others from access.

7 Steps to Update Your Google Knowledge Panel

Now that you have verified yourself and have claimed your knowledge panel, you can begin the work of actually managing it.

This won’t eat up all your time or require constant maintenance, but you may want to check in every once in a while. If you do see an error in your Google knowledge panel or if one has been reported to you, you can take certain steps to make necessary updates. It’s at Google’s discretion, however, so it may take some time and patience.

  1. Sign In

    Make sure you’re logged in to the Google account you used to claim your knowledge panel, or the one someone used to gain you access to the knowledge panel. Otherwise, Google won’t recognize you as someone related to that account.

    In addition, you need to turn on “Web and App Activities” under Google’s Activity Controls in your Google account. Essentially, this helps track your steps as you are moving around your searches and helps Google ensure you have access to the knowledge panel.

  2. Search for the Knowledge Panel

    Just as when you claimed your knowledge panel, you need to use Google Search to look for the entity whose knowledge panel you want to update. Googling your brand’s name is probably the best and easiest way to get there, but remember to look carefully at the knowledge panel and make sure it’s referencing the entity you intended. If not, keep searching until you find the right one.

  3. Click Suggest Edits

    If you are logged in to the correct Google account and are looking at the associated knowledge panel, you should see a link at the top of the knowledge panel that says “Suggest Edits” or a similar iteration. If you don’t see it, verify you are signed in correctly and are looking at the right knowledge panel.

    When you are, go ahead and click it. This is your portal for suggesting updates.

  4. Choose What You Want to Update

    Click the area you want to update. You will be doing each one separately, so if you have more than one change you would like to see, just start with one, and you can continue with more changes later.

    Areas you want to update might include images, descriptions or titles, social media profile links, and more.

    Here is an example using Boden’s knowledge panel. You can see how each bit of information is broken into different options. You can choose which section you want to suggest an update for.
    claim knowledge panels

  5. Write Out Your Suggested Updates

    Because this is Google’s product and not one you can directly control yourself, you can’t just go in and make updates on the areas you would like.

    You can, however, ask Google to go in and review your suggestions.

    When you click on the area you want to update, a small text box will open where you can enter your suggested update.

    Be as specific as possible and provide as much background as you can. This helps the reviewer on Google’s end have as much context as possible to understand the logic behind the suggested change. You can also provide links to any websites or pages to verify your requested change.

  6. Wait

    This isn’t the easy part, but you will have to wait for your review to be accepted. Google will manually review your suggestion and check for verifiable information online to back up your update for accuracy. That’s why providing the specifics and URLs as mentioned above is important.

    When Google accepts your updates, you will be contacted via email.

  7. Create More Suggestions

    You should send each update as a separate request. In other words, if you want to see the image updated as well as social media profile links, you should do these separately.

    This keeps the review process clean and easy to follow. It also allows you to be specific and detailed without muddling your requests.

    Get in there and make suggestions for updates whenever you deem necessary.

Conclusion

Knowing what people are learning about you and your brand is key to understanding how the public perceives you. If the information at the top of a Google search isn’t accurate or isn’t reflective of what you want to project, you need to claim knowledge panels and request those updates are made.

Claiming knowledge panels can give you at least a little more control over how your brand appears in a Google search, but it’s not the end. In fact, it’s just one step in building an online brand and SEO. There’s so much you can do to improve your SEO and stay in front of your customer base with the knowledge they need to interact with your brand well.

Have you claimed your brand’s Google knowledge panel yet?

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Google to pay $391.5 million settlement over location tracking, state AGs say

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Google to pay $391.5 million settlement over location tracking, state AGs say

Google has agreed to pay a $391.5 million settlement to 40 states to resolve accusations that it tracked people’s locations in violation of state laws, including snooping on consumers’ whereabouts even after they told the tech behemoth to bug off.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said it is time for Big Tech to recognize state laws that limit data collection efforts.

“I have been ringing the alarm bell on big tech for years, and this is why,” Mr. Landry, a Republican, said in a statement Monday. “Citizens must be able to make informed decisions about what information they release to big tech.”

The attorneys general said the investigation resulted in the largest-ever multistate privacy settlement. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, a Democrat, said Google’s penalty is a “historic win for consumers.”

“Location data is among the most sensitive and valuable personal information Google collects, and there are so many reasons why a consumer may opt out of tracking,” Mr. Tong said. “Our investigation found that Google continued to collect this personal information even after consumers told them not to. That is an unacceptable invasion of consumer privacy, and a violation of state law.”

Location tracking can help tech companies sell digital ads to marketers looking to connect with consumers within their vicinity. It’s another tool in a data-gathering toolkit that generates more than $200 billion in annual ad revenue for Google, accounting for most of the profits pouring into the coffers of its corporate parent, Alphabet, which has a market value of $1.2 trillion.

The settlement is part of a series of legal challenges to Big Tech in the U.S. and around the world, which include consumer protection and antitrust lawsuits.

Though Google, based in Mountain View, California, said it fixed the problems several years ago, the company’s critics remained skeptical. State attorneys general who also have tussled with Google have questioned whether the tech company will follow through on its commitments.

The states aren’t dialing back their scrutiny of Google’s empire.

Last month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he was filing a lawsuit over reports that Google unlawfully collected millions of Texans’ biometric data such as “voiceprints and records of face geometry.”

The states began investigating Google’s location tracking after The Associated Press reported in 2018 that Android devices and iPhones were storing location data despite the activation of privacy settings intended to prevent the company from following along.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich went after the company in May 2020. The state’s lawsuit charged that the company had defrauded its users by misleading them into believing they could keep their whereabouts private by turning off location tracking in the settings of their software.

Arizona settled its case with Google for $85 million last month. By then, attorneys general in several other states and the District of Columbia had pounced with their own lawsuits seeking to hold Google accountable.

Along with the hefty penalty, the state attorneys general said, Google must not hide key information about location tracking, must give users detailed information about the types of location tracking information Google collects, and must show additional information to people when users turn location-related account settings to “off.”

States will receive differing sums from the settlement. Mr. Landry’s office said Louisiana would receive more than $12.7 million, and Mr. Tong’s office said Connecticut would collect more than $6.5 million.

The financial penalty will not cripple Google’s business. The company raked in $69 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2022, according to reports, yielding about $13.9 billion in profit.

Google downplayed its location-tracking tools Monday and said it changed the products at issue long ago.

“Consistent with improvements we’ve made in recent years, we have settled this investigation which was based on outdated product policies that we changed years ago,” Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said in a statement.

Google product managers Marlo McGriff and David Monsees defended their company’s Search and Maps products’ usage of location information.

“Location information lets us offer you a more helpful experience when you use our products,” the two men wrote on Google’s blog. “From Google Maps’ driving directions that show you how to avoid traffic to Google Search surfacing local restaurants and letting you know how busy they are, location information helps connect experiences across Google to what’s most relevant and useful.”

The blog post touted transparency tools and auto-delete controls that Google has developed in recent years and said the private browsing Incognito mode prevents Google Maps from saving an account’s search history.

Mr. McGriff and Mr. Monsees said Google would make changes to its products as part of the settlement. The changes include simplifying the process for deleting location data, updating the method to set up an account and revamping information hubs.

“We’ll provide a new control that allows users to easily turn off their Location History and Web & App Activity settings and delete their past data in one simple flow,” Mr. McGriff and Mr. Monsees wrote. “We’ll also continue deleting Location History data for users who have not recently contributed new Location History data to their account.”

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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5 Tips to Boost Your Holiday Search Strategy

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Student writing on computer

With the global economic downturn, inflation, ongoing supply chain challenges, and uncertainty due to the Ukraine war, this year’s holiday shopping season promises to be very challenging. Will people be in the mood to spend despite the gloom? Or will they rein in their enthusiasm and save for the year ahead?

With these issues in mind, here are five considerations to support your search engine optimization strategy this holiday shopping season:

1. Start early.

Rising prices are likely to mean shoppers will start researching their holiday spending earlier than ever to nab the best bargains. Therefore, retailers must roll out their holiday product and category pages — and launch any promotions — sooner to ensure their pages get crawled and indexed by search engines in good time.

Some e-commerce stores manage to get their pages ranking early by updating and reusing the same section of the website for holiday content and promotions, rotating between content for Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine gifts, Fourth of July sales, etc. This approach can help you retain the momentum, links and authority you build up with Google and get your holiday pages visible and ranking quickly.

2. Make research an even bigger priority.

With all the uncertainty this year, it’s vital to use SEO research to identify the trending seasonal keywords and search phrases in your retail vertical — and then optimize content accordingly.

With tools such as Google Trends you can extract helpful insights based on the types of searches people are making. For example, with many fashion retailers now charging for product returns, will prioritizing keywords such as “free returns” get more search traction? And with money being tighter, will consumers stick with brands they trust rather than anything new — meaning brand searches might be higher?

3. Make greater use of Google Shopping.

To get the most out of their holiday spending, consumers are more likely to turn to online marketplaces such as Google Shopping as they make it easier to compare products, features and prices, as well as to identify the best deals both online and in nearby stores.

Therefore, take a combined approach which includes listing in Google Shopping and at the same time optimizing product detail pages on your e-commerce site to ensure they’re unique and provide more value than competitors’ pages. Be precise with product names on Google Shopping (e.g., do the names contain the words people are searching for?); ensure you provide all the must-have information Google requires; and set a price that’s not too far from the competition. 

4. Give other search sources the attention they deserve.

Earlier this year Google itself acknowledged that consumers — especially younger consumers — are starting to use TikTok, Instagram and other social media sites for search. In fact, research suggests 11 percent of product searches now start on TikTok and 15 percent on Instagram. Younger consumers in particular are more engaged by visual content, which may explain why they’re embracing visually focused social sites for search. So, as part of your search strategy, create and share content on popular social media sites that your target customers visit.

Similarly, with people starting their shopping searches on marketplaces such as Amazon.com, optimizing any listings you have on the site should be part of your strategy. And thankfully, the better optimized your product detail pages are for Amazon (with unique, useful content), the better they will rank on Google as well!

5. Hold paid budget for late opportunities.

The greater uncertainty and volatility this holiday season mean you must keep a close eye on shopper behavior and be ready to embrace opportunities that emerge later on. Getting high organic rankings for late promotions is always more challenging, so hold some paid search budget back to help drive traffic to those pages — via Google Ads, for example. Important keywords to include in late season search ad campaigns include “delivery before Christmas” and “same-day-delivery.” For locally targeted search ads, consider “pick up any time before Christmas.”

The prospect of a tough, unpredictable holiday shopping season means search teams must roll out seasonal SEO plans early, closely track shoppers’ behavior, and be ready to adapt as things change.

Marcus Pentzek is chief SEO consultant at Searchmetrics, the global provider of search data, software and consulting solutions.

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Google Home App Gets an Overhaul, Rolling Out Soon

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Google Home app

Google refreshes its Home app with a slew of new features after launching a new Nest gear. This makes it faster and easier to pair smart devices with Matter, adds customization and personalization options, an enhanced Nest camera experience, and better intercommunication between devices.

This revamped Home app utilizes Google’s Matter smart home standard – launching later this year – especially the Fast Pair functionality. On an Android phone, it will instantly recognize a Matter device and allow you to easily set it up, bypassing the current procedure that is often slow and difficult. Google is also updating its Nest speakers, displays, and routers – to control Matter devices better.

Google Home App New Features

  • Spaces: This feature allows you to control multiple devices in different rooms. Google has listed a few things by room: kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc., although it’s pretty limited right now. Spaces let you organize devices how you see fit. For instance, you can set up a baby monitor in one room and set a different room’s camera to focus on an area the baby often plays. With Spaces, you can categorize these two devices into one Space category called ‘Baby.’

Google Home app Spaces

  • Favorites: This one is pretty self-explanatory. It allows you to make certain gears as a favorite that you frequently use. Doing so will bring those devices into the limelight within the Google Home app for easier access. 

Google Home app

  • Media: Google adds a new media widget at the bottom of your Home feed. This will automatically determine what media is playing in your home and provide you with the appropriate controls as and when needed. There will be song controls if you listen to music on your speakers. There will be television remote controls if you’re watching TV. 

Google probably won’t roll out this Home app makeover anytime soon. But you can try it for yourself in the coming week by enrolling in the public preview, available in select areas.

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